Stretch marks are a common concern among women, especially during pregnancy as they signal a change in your body and affect the way you feel about it. We think stretch marks are a reminder of what your body is capable of by growing a baby, but we also understand the desire to keep your body stretch mark free is part of the larger picture of wanting to keep some elements of yourself intact as you transition to motherhood.
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are very deep tears below the surface of the skin. As the name implies, they occur when your skin stretches quickly over a fairly short period, tears and then forms a scar as it heals. The scars typically appear as lines along your skin and can occur anywhere but are mostly found on your breasts, thighs, buttocks and of course your tummy.
During pregnancy, as your belly stretches to accommodate your growing baby stretch marks can make an appearance somewhere between weeks 13 and 21.
Who’s more likely to get stretch marks?
Stress, hormonal changes and rapid weight gain or loss are all factors that may contribute to the appearance of stretch marks but the likelihood of developing stretch marks varies according to skin type, race, age, diet and hydration of the skin.
Although stretch marks are mostly associated with pregnancy, those most prone to stretch marks also include body builders, adolescents undergoing sudden growth spurts and other individuals who experience rapid weight gain.
How to prevent and treat stretch marks?
A gentle exfoliating treatment is the best way to encourage skin renewal, remove dead skin and leave skin supple. Exfoliation encourages circulation and speeds up collagen regeneration and promotes skin elasticity. We recommend this Stretch Marks Relief Refining Scrub as the first step in prevention and treatment as it allows the creams or oils that you use after to absorb more effectively and deeply.
Hydration is the best defense against stretch marks. The continual and plentiful use of Omega 3, 6 and 9 is key in building skin’s strength and elasticity. Adequate hydration will also alleviate the pesky itchiness that comes as the skin stretches. The Stretch Marks Relief Hydrating Oil is fast absorbing and non-greasy with the key ingredient pomegranate seed oil, the only botanical source of punicic acid which is a rare omega-5 fatty acid believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants known to modern science!
Of course, internal hydration is just as important as external hydration so be sure you’re drinking enough water to keep your skin cells plumped and happy on the inside too! Add some fresh lemon for Vitamin C boost or soothing cucumber and mint to refresh and ease any digestive issues you may be experiencing.
Get a Collagen Boost
Stretch marks manifest when the collagen in the skin weakens so finding ways to naturally boost collagen levels is important in preventing them, as well as fading any current ones you may already have. The Stretch Marks Relief Restorative Butter contains gotu kola which significantly increases collagen production to help prevent new stretch marks from forming, as well as help heal any existing marks.
You can also boost your collagen intake by loading up on like leafy greens, citrus fruits, yellow and orange veggies like sweet potatoes and bell peppers, berries, and lean protein like chicken. Also try adding a collagen powder to your smoothie!
Start Early, Be Consistent
During pregnancy, apply creams and oils from the beginning of the second trimester on areas that are prone to stretch marks including belly, breasts, lower back, hips, buttocks and thighs. For best results use 1-2 times per day for a minimum of 3 months.
Once formed, stretch marks are permanent in nature, and although these products can help improve their appearance, they can’t promise to completely remove them. That would be stretching the truth! The best way to tackle your stretch marks is by nurturing them instead.